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* Posts by ratfox

3285 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

Why a merged Apple OS is one mash-up too far

ratfox
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Windows

Re: OS !== UX && OS !== CPU

I am afraid that in this case, the convergence of the OS also means a convergence of the UX. In particular, I'm afraid that because most Mac users use it for very little serious work, the UX is going to converge to a consumer experience similar to the phones.

There has already been a few changes in that direction. For instance, they had in Finder windows this "All my files" folder, which is so useless to anybody doing serious work on a computer that's it's almost insulting. I think that's been removed now (and of course you have people complaining since it was so useful to them), but it's a pretty good indication of what can go wrong when you design for your average users.

A bit like when Windows introduced the ribbon, and the most prominent buttons were "copy" and "paste".

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Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads

ratfox
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Re: Just nonsense from teachers that are too dumb to do anything...

While you clearly know the requirements for teaching, and it would be easy for you to do their job. Ahem.

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Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

ratfox
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It shouldn't be hard to reproduce the accident scene, and find what went wrong.

What I wonder is, even if we admit that the lidar didn't see her, at some point she was in the headlights, and the cameras should have seen her. For almost a second. Too late to avoid the accident, but never too late for an emergency break, reducing the damage. If it takes more time for a computer to recognize the situation and react than for a human, we have another big problem.

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Java-aaaargh! Google faces $9bn copyright bill after Oracle scores 'fair use' court appeal win

ratfox
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Re: Bifurcating a spectrum often leads to problems

Yeah, it's kind of weird that you have so much riding on a yes/no decision that's flipped three times already.

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How a QR code can fool iOS 11's Camera app into opening evil.com rather than nice.co.uk

ratfox
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Devil

Re: Is This A Feature?

Hanlon's razor applies here. I suspect the camera app uses a regular expression. Those are dangerous and the work of the devil, because they let even intelligent people think they know what they are doing.

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ratfox
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Re: QR codes were never cool

The same argument can be made for all URLs. Whatever you click online, there is always the possibility that it leads to malware. QR codes are nothing special in this regard. The solution is not to do nothing because everything carries a small risk.

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Students: Duh, of course we're blowing our loan bucks on crypto coins

ratfox
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Trollface

Investing right now is bad timing.

A few years ago? Go ahead invest in it.

Not that I disagree with what you said, but people said the same thing a few years ago!

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You'll like this: Facebook probed by US watchdog amid privacy storm

ratfox
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WTF?

Re: You are always in control of the information you share with Facebook." ®

> guarantee the return or deletion of your information

Can I have my drawing of a spider back then please?

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Google gives its $1m Turing prize to, er, top Google bods: RISC men Hennessy, Patterson

ratfox
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2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations

ratfox
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Re: I guess we shouldn't be surprised

Indeed, it used to be that GPU were completely unreliable for precise computations. Of course, that has changed in the past decades, when the industry realized that there was money in fast GPUs that did not make mistakes, and advertised them as such.

There's nothing wrong in itself with GPU that return slightly imprecise results in exchange for speed; but that should be clearly announced so that buyers know what to expect.

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Telegram still won't hand over crypto keys it says it does not store

ratfox
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Stop

Re: Can you stop repeating Boris shite

Polonium-210 is just yet another agricultural poison

You know, for a lot of your tirade, I don't really know whether what you are saying is correct or incorrect. I admit it's not my domain of expertise. But if you are going to claim that Polonium-210 is routinely used in agriculture as an herbicide or insecticide, then let me go ahead and say that this part, right there, is complete bullshit.

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ratfox
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Pretty courageous to stand up to a regime known for poisoning people they don't like.

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Horn star Sudan, last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45

ratfox
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Facepalm

Rhino horns are so valuable that people steal them from museums. All that for a substance which you can get from biting your nails.

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US cops go all Minority Report: Google told to cough up info on anyone near a crime scene

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Huh? 20 acres?

How many Olympic swimming pools is that?

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Here is how Google handles Right To Be Forgotten requests

ratfox
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Stop

Re: "Google also uses the Buganizer tool as a way of managing workflow"

could someone please specify what the legal status of an untrained lawyer is ? Because as far I know, it is NOT A LAWYER.

You have something wrong here. This process is the equivalent of ringing the bell of your neighbor and asking him if he would cut down his tree which is growing over your side of the fence. You might threaten a lawsuit if he refuses to do it; but at this point, it's not a legal process. You didn't hire a lawyer yet, he doesn't need a lawyer to answer you, one way or another.

What Google is doing with this process is deciding whether they will accept the request immediately, removing the need for a lawsuit and all the red tape. If they say no, then the lawyers get involved.

In the end, it's only in front of a judge that real legal decisions can be taken. Lawyers can only argue for one side or another. It makes no sense to demand Google use lawyers unless you hire your own lawyers to argue against them, and the whole point of the process is to avoid that.

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Ugh, of course Germany trounces Blighty for cyber security salaries

ratfox
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Happy

Re: Switzerland

Sure, salaries are twice higher in Switzerland... But then everything is twice as expensive as well!

That said, I've never understood why IT salaries in London are so low, considering the cost of living, and what should be a healthy competition among finance companies to attract talent.

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Google buffs Chrome Enterprise with new tub of PartnerShine™

ratfox
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Chrome OS is generally held to have about one per cent market share, while Chromebooks now account for around five per cent of laptop sales

Those numbers look a bit contradictory. Or is there really so many more desktops than laptops that 5% of laptops is only 1% of computers?

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Google to 'forget me' man: Have you forgotten what you said earlier?

ratfox
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If I were the judge I'd toss a coin

And that's why I'm not a judge.

Is it really important what exactly did that man (it's a man, right?) do all those years ago? In a sense, the gravity of his crimes was already measured when he was convicted to less than 4 years of jail (which is I understand a condition for a conviction to be considered as spent). Ideally, it should not be necessary to decide of that again. I'd have thought the judge would just throw out any and all arguments about the gravity of his crimes as irrelevant.

But maybe that's also why I'm not a judge.

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YouTube plan to use Wikipedia against crackpots hits snag

ratfox
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WTF?

Re: Partnership requirement to read?

Is it really a significant increase, whether in bandwidth, or in number of nutjobs?

I mean, Wikipedia isn't exactly a small site that nobody visits. And it's already been the target of conspiracy nutjobs for many years. I doubt that there's going to be a sudden increase in traffic from people who had never heard of the site before.

I think it might be the first time a website would complain about Google relying on them and sending them users :-D

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Stephen Hawking dies, aged 76

ratfox
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Happy

However, the disease progressed more slowly than predicted and married, kept working and became a titan of both hard and popular science.

I like this version; please don't change it!

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Man who gave interviews about his crimes asks court to delete Google results

ratfox
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[...] will result in his name being plastered everywhere again

Does it? I'm not sure it means that. The injunction could pretty well keep going after the lawsuit is over, even in case of a loss, couldn't it? I'm sure that there are open-ended injunctions.

The loss only means that you will be able to find those websites on Google by looking for his name, whatever that name is, just like you are able to do it now.

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Tech giants should take the rap for enabling fake news, boffins tell EU

ratfox
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Holmes

Re: Too big

they had a duty to build such safeguards into their systems, before they got big

Well actually, the thing is, there is no law forcing those companies to build safeguards. If there was such a law, they'd be getting sued already. What's under discussion is whether they will police themselves, or whether governments will have to write ham-fisted laws forcing them to.

That said, I don't recall big tech ever openly claiming they were too big to be regulated. They might play with the notion, hinting that they'll just leave the country and drop services if regulators attempt to control them; but I've never seen an example where they just go out and use that as an argument. In fact, it'd be pretty stupid of them to do that, because that's precisely the kind of behavior that means regulators should intervene.

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ratfox
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Meh

Thank god for tech giants

Imagine the Internet consisted of small independent services; who would be to blame then?

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Air gapping PCs won't stop data sharing thanks to sneaky speakers

ratfox
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Meh

Probably their next paper will be about extracting data from an air-gapped PC by training a camera at the screen while it displays information.

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FCC levies largest ever fine: $614m on Verizon (that's about three days of profit for telco giant)

ratfox
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Broken clock

I was going to say the same.

Note the complete lack of mention of Ajit Pai in the article. Not that I like the guy or his policies, but it would be fair to mention him whenever the FCC happens to be doing the right thing.

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Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs

ratfox
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Stop

Re: RE: Crossrail

If NASA had had 3GHz onboard computers for Apollo and the shuttles they'd have been able to land a rocket upright too. Fact is, it's still just cheaper to ditch them in the ocean.

Now here you are almost certainly wrong. The computers cost nothing compared to the engines.

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Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

ratfox
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Angel

Justice is not always as blind as it should be

I believe that if he had not been such a controversial person, publicly making unpopular business decisions, he might have been treated differently by the legal system, and spent less time in prison.

And it couldn't have happened to a nice guy!

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Slack cuts ties to IRC and XMPP, cos they don't speak Emoji

ratfox
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Angel

There you go

Face Vomiting was approved as part of Unicode 10.0 in 2017 under the name “Face With Open Mouth Vomiting” and added to Emoji 5.0 in 2017.

You're welcome!

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Ex-stream action: YouTube slays Zombie horde in AdSense battle

ratfox
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Looks like there's an opportunity for alternate video hosting websites, by just being a bit more permissive than YouTube...

Though... Everybody who can stay on YouTube will remain on YouTube, because that's where most users are... So you'll end up with all the "edgy" stuff. Why not?

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Will the stock market drop Dropbox like it's hot? Numbers say no

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

such as Apple making iCloud a worthwhile competitor.

I'm not sure how that would make a difference? Dropbox already has plenty of competition from Google and Microsoft, and their products are reasonably worthwhile. Were Apple to somehow decide to wake up from their slumber, I doubt they'd go for the people who would otherwise choose Dropbox.

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Google assisting the Pentagon in developing AI for its drones

ratfox
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Angel

Re: What a disaster

I'm confused. Do you mean that's a good thing they're involved in this project, or a bad thing?

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'Quantum supremacy will soon be ours!', says Google as it reveals 72-qubit quantum chip

ratfox
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Mushroom

@Justthefacts

Relatively few problems have known efficient solutions with a quantum computer, but that isn’t the same at all.

The key point is that a QC can execute at least one NP-hard problem in polynomial time.

No! NO! NO!!1!

There is not, I repeat, not a single NP-hard problem for which we have found an algorithm solving it in polynomial time. Even with a quantum computer.

To quote the Wikipedia article on Quantum Computing: "There is a common misconception that quantum computers can solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time. That is not known to be true, and is generally suspected to be false."

The proof is not constructive, it just says it can be done

The proof is constructive, just impractical.

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ratfox
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Angel

@Destroy All Monsters

No! The class of algorithms efficiently computable by Quantum Computers (i.e. BQP) does NOT include NP-hard or even NP-complete problems.

To be pedantic: If you can prove your statement, you have a million dollars waiting for you.

I think what you mean is that BQP is not known to include NP-complete problems.

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ratfox
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Paris Hilton

What's the application?

As I understand it, there's terribly few problems whose known complexity is smaller with a quantum computer. In fact, the only that I know is factorizing large numbers. Which sounds very useful to destroy cryptography, until you remember that elliptic-curve cryptography is not affected, so we can just change algorithms and carry on...

So really, what's the use of quantum computers?

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Swiss see Telly Tax as a Big Plus, vote against scrapping it

ratfox
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Media and information

is not a domain where I would be happy to see a cutthroat free-for-all looking for consumer money. That's how you end up with fragmented networks showing a nice mirror of what their viewers think.

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Europe plans special tax for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

What companies are forced to sign up?

I mean, the tech giants are all — technically — following the rules as it is. Why would they sign up for an additional tax? Are governments simply going to decide case by case who should pay that tax?

Apart from that, I'm thinking that Apple, Google and Facebook might be fine with a tax on turnover, because they have massive margins. That's probably going to hurt Amazon a lot more, though.

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US watchdog just gave up trying to get Google to explain YouTube's huge financial figures

ratfox
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Re: Its easy enough to explain actually...

I cannot think that storing and serving an exabyte of cat videos comes cheap. Maybe they consider YouTube as a loss leader?

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Full disclosh: Facebook to pay shareholders $35m over IPO non-disclosure claims

ratfox
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The lawsuit probably lost a lot of its bite now that the stock price is four times that of the IPO.

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Ohhhh-klahoma! Where Verizon's sweeping legacy down the drain

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

I need a translation

I read the article, and I knew some of those words, but it's like I'm reading a foreign language. Is this about software-defined networking? I usually get this reaction from articles about software-defined networking.

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Apple: Er, yes. Your iCloud stuff is now on Google's servers, too

ratfox
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I'm not really buying that Google would spy on the data, but in any case I'm pretty sure that Apple is indeed encrypting the data...

Of course, you never know who has the key, and accidents/bug happen. But then again if you worry a lot about your data, you don't use any cloud.

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Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

ratfox
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Stop

First, we need the assistants to be able to distinguish what's real and what's TV. I bet the plods won't be too happy to be called from 100'000 different homes at the same time during Dexter reruns.

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Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business

ratfox
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Meh

Cool

Let's all use a messaging system which charges you by the message!

Jokes aside, I wonder how many people still use SMS by default and don't use or even know about WhatsApp/Messenger. I suspect it's not much. Facebook claimed in 2016 that Messenger and Whatsapp together had three times as much traffic as SMS worldwide. And I'm pretty sure SMS has lost ground since then...

And how many of these are sent from an iPhone to an Android, since that's what iMessage does in this situation?

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Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

Incidentally, I've regularly been getting ads on the Reg about Blockchain being the future of the apartment rental industry. Huh?

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James Damore's labor complaint went over about as well as his trash diversity manifesto

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

No, Damore's memo didn't say discrimination isn't a problem.

Oh really? Then why all the biological argument to explain disparities in engineering? What would be the point, if anyway he agreed that women and black people are discriminated against, and that it is a problem?

He was trying to show that the anti-discrimination training at Google was unnecessary, and to support this assertion, he claimed that the differences where due to biological differences rather than discrimination.

The whole biological argument that made people scream so much is irrelevant unless it implies that discrimination is not a problem.

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ratfox
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The issue is that it IS science. It's backed by good quality research, even if you prefer some other supposedly better research.

If your good quality research is contradicted by other good quality research, you're not doing science. Ahem.

That said, no matter how good the science is, it doesn't support Damore's own conclusion that discrimination doesn't exist.

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ratfox
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Re: Political correctness

Whatever science he was using did very little to support his conclusion that Google should stop giving their employees training against discrimination.

To begin with, the biology argument he uses, even assuming it helps explaining the disparity between men and women in engineering, does not magically mean that discrimination does not exist. And then, it does absolutely nothing to explain why black people are so rare in engineering.

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ratfox
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Yeah, it's rather that he said their brains make them prefer other jobs. To be clear, that's still controversial, and in my opinion deeply unconvincing, but still, a bit different.

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Roses are red, Facebook is blue. Think private means private? More fool you

ratfox
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Paris Hilton

This reminds me of a student colleague of mine who requested more disk quota, arguing he needed it for his project.

He discovered that "chmod 700 project_data/" doesn't prevent sysadmins from finding the project_data/p0rn/ directory.

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Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

ratfox
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Facepalm

What a time to be alive

Never have governments been so eager to abdicate their responsibilities and push them on private corporations.

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No yolking matter: Google Translate cock-up gives Norwegians more than un œuf eggs

ratfox
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Boffin

Typical confusion when dealing with CJK languages. They group decimals by four instead of three. They have a word for ten thousand, and 15 thousand would be that, and a half...

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